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Archive for the ‘quilt along’ Category

November is my month for my Ten Make Two Quilting Bee.  Inspiring me was this string block I made for our Little Blue Cottage Quilting Bee.  Please ignore that the white doesn’t line up, I’ll tell you how I avoid that now in a minute.  I had been wanting to try this technique.  It’s simple and fun.

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There are a few tutorials online for this.  Film in the Fridge and P.S. I Quilt are the ones I used.

I think by now everyone should have received the natural Carolina Chambray that I mailed out for the middle section of the blocks for some uniformity.  The Raindrops little tidbit that I added doesn’t go in my blocks.  I had hopes that everyone would generously add an extra strip of one of their fabrics that went into my blocks could be sent my way for making some extras and help create some more cohesiveness to the finished quilt.  Please don’t feel obligated!

I couldn’t decide on a colorway, so it works out perfectly that we make two blocks.  I’ll just make two quilts!  I’ll either produce some more blocks with my stash and the extra tidbits sent or come up with a layout that works with ten blocks.

aqua/turquoise and red colorway:

(ignore the raindrops, they don’t go in)

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Here’s mine:

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And for the second block the fabulous colorway that Tacha used:

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I didn’t get to that block today due to the fabulous weather and the need to get out of the house due to the crud.  Here are some of the fabrics I used for Tacha’s blocks as an example (thanks for the inspiration Tacha!):

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Hmmmm…so I guess I’d like no other solids,  and that’s about it for limitations.  I don’t mind some light blues in the aqua/red block.  You can pick the size of the paper squares, I used 7 inches.  No larger than 7 inches please, but you can go a bit smaller.  Somewhat wonky lines are ok.

Some tips that have helped me:

-Make your strips between about an inch and two inches.

-Don’t forget to lengthen your stitch back to 2.5 when it comes to sew the 4 squares you produce together.

-Steam is not your friend until you have all strings sewn to the paper square.

-Starch is helpful in the final press.

-I used the basting spray and LOVED it (I complained about the price, but way better than the glue stick).

-Lining up the chambray bit can be tricky and please don’t fret if it doesn’t line up in your final block.  This is what I find helps.  Spray your chambray string and lay it spray side up on your work surface.  Position the paper over it to center it on the diagonal.  Way easier to get it right than laying it on the paper.

-Make sure your first fabrics are seamed 1/4 inch from the chambray and straight, this will help with the points matching when the four blocks are sewn together.  I used a lot of pins to make sure the blocks would sew together square.

-Don’t forget to shorten your stitch or the paper will be difficult to remove.

-Hold the end of you strip and perhaps give it a bit of a pull to realign it when sewing, they tend to migrate.  This might have to do with the short stitch length, or maybe it’s just my built in walking foot.

Can’t wait to see what you all do!

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Hope everyone had some time in the week for a little catch up and to muck about with their designs.  I left my camera at work, so we’ll have to make do without photos of this step, but I think it will be easy enough to envision.

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We’ll sew our squares into rows this week.  I sew my squares across, you may prefer up and down, it makes no difference.

If I had my camera I could show you how much the design POPS when the rows are sewn.  I was seriously impressed, as I was a bit uncertain about this newer to me design.

What is important (to me at least) is matching the ends of your squares so that your points look crisp and your rows line up.  Some people pin, I simply match up my squares (right sides together of course) and start my stitching.  After about five stitches I make sure my bottom corners are still lined up and I hold them together till I get to the end of the square with my stitching.

If they don’t seem to be lining up (which they should if they were cut the same size), then I lift my presser foot with the needle down and pull the corners of the squares together.  Now holding the corners together I continue to sew.

Once at the end I press.  If I plan on quilting stitch in the ditch I press my seams to the side to offer more material layers for the stitching.  I actually quite like this type of quilt stitched this way.  I believe stitch in the ditch is rather under rated.  It really allows the design itself to shine.  However, if I choose to free motion ( I mean, pay someone else to kill their back), then I press my seams open.

I’ll leave the arguments of ironing seams open or to the side to people who care.  I find either way fine and easy enough to match seams.

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I got some other things brewing that are on my camera, especially samples we’ve been producing at Fabric Crush, that I’ll share later.

We did receive a Thank You card from our little friend Darma for her birthday gift.  Had I know she was having ponies at the party I would have whipped up some Heather Ross, but I went with Fairies.

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I love this line for making pillows. I’ve made it before in this colorway:

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The details are sweet.

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Wee man had to get into the scene.  Christmas in October highwaters…I suppose I should get around to sewing some new pjs for the kid.

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I had been wanting to get a picture of our sunflowers this year and never got around to it.  They were as tall as the house.  Here they are in the background, heavy with seed.  Our resident squirrel, Hazel is very fat this year.

4036505936_95da4da5a5Happy Saturday!

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Ok Friends.  The moment you have been waiting for is here.  I know I’m a day late and a dollar short, all due to working at this FABULOUS store.

Hope you have cut yourself some squares!  I went a little crazy.

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This week we’ll pair up our squares and sew them.  Then cut them into their new blocks.

DETERMINING VALUE:

No worries on making fabrics match, we’re going to think in values, or the degree of lightness or darkness of a color.

Cut your fabric squares. I used 6-inch squares, but you may go smaller or larger.

Divide them in piles into light, medium and dark. Like below:

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You have a ton of Mediums you say? Our eyes tend to like Mediums. Most likely your stash is made up largely of this value.

You won’t immediately know into which pile to place some fabrics. The questionable squares will be sorted out in the next step. One will always be lighter.

PAIRING UP SQUARES:

Now you need to pair TWO squares.

Pull a square from one of the Light, Medium or Dark piles and match it RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER with another value, until you have one big stack.

This is an easy way to weed out the questionable (is it Light, Medium or Dark?) valued squares, by mating what you have left.

Remember, value is relative.  When you hold those last stragglers up to each other, one will ALWAYS be lighter.  You might have to rematch a few to pair all your squares.

Each pair will now need a line drawn diagonally from one corner to another on the wrong side of the mated pair. Pencil is the recommended method, but I use pen, make your own calls on this.

SEWING SQUARES:

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Sew a quarter inch seam on each side of that line.  I don’t pin, but you might want to if your blocks aren’t staying square. I chain piece when I do this step.  If you need some photos of this and the pinning, Stitches In Place does a fabulous job.

With your rotary cutter and ruler, cut on the penned line to make two blocks.

If you get a moment, I would love to see what you’re up to!  Our Flickr group is HERE.  I really wanted to include discharged blocks as my light, but time didn’t allow…would love to see this if someone has the time and motivation!

I decided with everything going on that I wasn’t going to reinvent the wheel. All text and photos have already been done, so if you care to skip ahead because you have time, the whole process is HERE.

I am so excited to have a weekend with my family.  We are super busy tomorrow, but Sunday I hope to fit in football, beer and sewing.  Have a productive week you all!  I’ve really enjoyed the emails.

BTW, totally quilting unrelated, if you are any of these things:  someone who likes to laugh, waste time that you could spend sewing on the computer, or possibly white, go check out the blog Stuff White People Like.  You will be humored, I promise.

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My brain is always onto the next project.  I can’t help it and am sure it’s in my genes…my Mom was the same.  I can see from the response to the Quilt Along that many of you also have this going on.

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I think even if you can make a start, you will be able to pick it up to work on here and there.  I somehow managed to plan this Quilt Along during the time that I now have a Kindergartener and am going back to work, so bare with me.

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My example of fingers in too many places, but for good reason is the One A Day Quilt Along for a Nine-Patch. I can’t even find Amanda Jean’s original post.  I can officially say I am probably over a 100 days behind on the quilt, but pleased as punch when I have a moment to work on it.  This fabric was waiting for a project like this.

I’m glad I made a start, and I hope you’ll feel the same.

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BTW, does anyone have any Amy Butler Charm Tulip Flower with the white background.  I just need a bit and have some of the other Tulip Flower to trade, looks like this below:

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I hope your square cutting is almost complete.  We’ll start on the 1st…and I’m already thinking about this quilt with flannel and little boy fabrics for Roan.

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I’ve been busy cutting squares for my Value Quilt Along.  It’s amazing, I REALLY don’t need to buy any more fabric, but how I love looking at it all!  Just LOOK at that stack!  It makes me so happy.

Here’s some cut squares.  I went a little crazy.

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I’ve been a bit obsessed with Alexander Henry’s fabrics of late.

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Love this orange Amy Butler with the turquoise.

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Old Amy Butler’s are the best in my opinion.

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The colors are so vibrant in Kaffe’s fabrics and I love Good Folks.

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I’m sure not one of you saw something you needed to add to your stash.

One thing I love about cutting for this quilt is it gives me new inspiration for new fabric combos.  I wish it would curb my enthusiasm for purchasing.  You’d think I would just say, “enough is enough!”

Some new combos:

A pillowcase for me, because Heather Ross fabric is sooo soft and I can hide it behind the mountain of other pillows so I don’t have to worry about it not matching my bed stuff:

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Some random combining.  Quilts or some sort of patchwork for sure.

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Hope your cutting is inspiring too!

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